Fox's Hannity again smeared pastor of Barack Obama's church as "black separatist"

Fox's Hannity again smeared pastor of Barack Obama's church as "black separatist"


On the June 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity again accused Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright -- pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ, which Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) attends -- of holding "these black-separatist views, about the Black Value System." Following a trend from previous shows, Hannity did not mention Wright's explicit denial on the March 1 edition of Hannity & Colmes that his church embraces separatism. Moreover, Hannity cited no specific evidence that Trinity espouses black separatism, and, indeed, Media Matters for America could find no reference on Trinity's website suggesting an espousal of black separatism, which, as articulated by African-American activist Stokely Carmichael, is the position that "[i]f we are to proceed toward true liberation, we must cut ourselves off from white people."

The civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) maintains a list of "hate groups" that it characterizes as "black separatist," which it describes as "typically oppos[ing] integration and racial intermarriage, and ... want[ing] separate institutions -- or even a separate nation -- for blacks." The SPLC adds, "Most forms of black separatism (or black nationalism) are strongly anti-white and anti-Semitic, and a number of religious versions assert that blacks -- not Jews -- are the Biblical 'chosen people' of God."

As Media Matters has noted, Trinity's mission statement says "we are called to be agents of liberation not only for the oppressed, but for all of God's family." In response to recent criticism from conservatives, specifically remarks by conservative columnist Erik Rush on the February 28 edition of Hannity & Colmes, the Trinity website has been updated with "talking points" regarding its teachings, which include this statement: "To have a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology being its center, is not to say that African or African American people are superior to anyone else." Its Mission Statement cites W.E.B. DuBois as "indicat[ing] that the problem in the 20th Century was going to be the problem of the color line" -- which the statement says is "our job to address ... and eradicate."

On the June 25 edition of Hannity & Colmes, discussing Obama's June 23 speech on religion in politics, Hannity claimed that Wright "has a very black-separatist point of view." Hannity then played a video clip of his and co-host Alan Colmes' conversation with Wright on the March 1 and further asserted that Trinity is "all about the black community. ... [I]t's a black separatist agenda." However, Hannity did not play the portion of the March 1 interview in which Wright specifically stated that his church's point of view does not "assume superiority, nor does it assume separatism."

From the June 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: I want to ask you, though, a question about Barack Obama. Because so much has been made, for example, about Mitt Romney's faith. Here's Barack Obama. His minister holds, you know, these black-separatist views about the Black Value System. I challenged him right here on this program about this. You know, Obama goes out there attacking, quote, "the religious right," the religious right. What about the religious left? I've never heard the term "the religious left," you know. You know, what about the Reverend [Al] Sharpton and the Reverend [Jesse] Jackson and, you know, others that --

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity, Religion
Fox News Channel
Sean Hannity
Hannity & Colmes
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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